Marvel’s Daredevil returns this week with a new, 13-episode season featuring blind attorney Matt Murdock, who fights for justice in courtrooms by day and in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen at night.
The first season of Daredevil was a massive hit, with critics and audiences alike raving about the gritty superhero series that took the popular character to a very dark place and opened the door to a whole new side of Marvel’s cinematic universe. Charlie Cox returns as Matt Murdock in the second season of the series, which will feature a large cast of returning characters as well as some new heroes and villains from the Marvel universe joining — and possibly fighting against — the show’s titular vigilante.
Since it’s been almost a full year since Daredevil premiered on Netflix, here’s everything you should know to get up to speed with the continuing adventures of Marvel’s “Man Without Fear.” Oh, and although it probably goes without saying, this recap will include some spoilers from the first season of the series — so consider yourself warned.
The story so far…
After a freak accident involving a truck full of mysterious chemicals takes away Matt Murdock’s sight as a child, he discovers that his other senses have become exponentially more acute, and develops a near-superhuman sense of awareness about his surroundings. Together with his longtime friend Franklin “Foggy” Nelson (Elden Henson), Matt becomes an attorney and the pair open up their own practice in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, specializing in helping people in need. However, unbeknownst to Foggy (although he later discovers Matt’s secret), his business partner also moonlights as a costumed vigilante who fights criminals on their own turf.
Over the course of the first 13-episode arc of the series, Matt and Foggy come to the defense of Karen Page (True Blood actress Deborah Ann Woll), who’s framed for murder when she discovers some shady accounting at the company she once worked for. Karen goes to work for Nelson & Murdock after the pair clear her name, and the trio ends up uncovering something far more sinister afoot in the city involving fast-rising criminal mastermind Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). As Fisk consolidates his power with brutal efficiency, he and Daredevil end up on a collision course that eventually results in the costumed vigilante sending the crimelord to prison — but not until after the pair trade blows in a violent, climactic fight in a dark alley.
A stick-y question
As former lovers, the pair’s relationship is a bit more … complicated.
Glenn’s character appears to be an important one in the series, as he pops up in trailers for the second season, along with more strange children like the one seen in his first-season episode. Speculation among fans is that the series could soon be exploring some of the more occult corners of Marvel’s universe, and both Stick and those weird kids will bring Daredevil down that path.
The new blood
The most high-profile additions to the series this season are The Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, the heavily-armed vigilante known as The Punisher, and actress Elodie Yung as the assassin Elektra Natchios. In the Marvel universe, The Punisher is a former Special Forces soldier who becomes a one-man war against crime after his family is killed in the crossfire of a Mafia shoot-out. Daredevil and Punisher have clashed many times in the comics, with the former not approving of the latter’s lethal approach toward dealing with criminals.
Daredevil and Elektra have also clashed at times, but as former lovers, the pair’s relationship is a bit more … complicated. Like Punisher, Elektra’s methods are significantly more final than those used by Daredevil, but their on-again, off-again romance tends to create some exciting moments both in the bedroom and while fighting villains.
Another (potentially) important outlier
Some other characters worth keeping an eye out for in the second season of Daredevil include Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson), a nurse who found herself caught up in Daredevil’s dangerous adventures in the first season and frequently tended to his injuries after some of his more destructive encounters. Claire is particularly noteworthy for playing a key role in both Daredevil and Jessica Jones, the second series in Marvel’s interconnected television universe on Netflix. With Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and upcoming series stars Luke Cage and Iron Fist set to team up in a Defenders crossover series down the road, Claire could very well be the person who brings them all together (much like Samuel Jackson and Clark Gregg’s characters did in The Avengers).
On the subject of Jessica Jones…
While November’s Jessica Jones series didn’t go out of its way to connect with Daredevil, the presence of Claire Temple wasn’t the only indication that the main characters of both series are operating in a shared universe. Now that both shows are out there and have benefitted from a warm welcome and critical praise, there’s a very good chance that there will be more overt connections between the two — and nods toward Luke Cage and Iron Fist — in the stories to come. Daredevil is the first of the shows to head into a second season, so it stands to reason that this is where things will start to blend together in Marvel’s rapidly growing Netflix-verse.
The second season of Daredevil premieres March 18 on Netflix.